Alternate Dungeons: Haunted House (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’s Resource by Alexander Augunas

Not all dungeons feature the traditional setup of a monster-filled subterranean network of rooms and passages. Druidic groves, haunted houses, rank sewers and more can all serve as an exciting backdrop to the PCs’ adventures. Such locations present their own set of unique design challenges, though, for the time-crunched GM plotting the next adventure.

This instalment of Alternate Dungeons presents loads of great details, hints and tips for a GM designing an adventure set in a haunted house. Designed to save a GM’s time while adding flavoursome details to bring the locale alive in the player’s minds, Alternate Dungeons: Haunted House is an essential tool in any GM’s arsenal.

Alternate Dungeons: Haunted House presents:

  • Haunted House: An Alternate Dungeon
  • Haunted House: Dressing
  • Haunted House: Denizens
  • Haunted House: Traps & Hazards
  • Haunted House: Adventure Hooks

For a free sample head over to ragingswan.com/haunted

This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

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This installment of Raging Swan Press' Alternate Dungeon-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

As in the first installment of the series, we begin with basic considerations for making the change of scenery to the alternate dungeon interesting - this time emphasizing the importance of mirrors, evil emanations and stuck doors before beginning with advice on running the place - with animated objects, sounds, decrepit structures etc. helping in keeping up the atmosphere. Here, the house fares better than the groves, while in the suggested treasures, things necessarily become a bit more generic.

The suggested function, here more a combination of ambient effects and background story is more versatile than in the first installment. Once again, the pdf comes with advice on "harvesting" dressing, which feels a bit out of place in direct comparison to the groves -how does one harvest e.g. portraits that follow the players with their eyes? How does one harvest echoing footsteps? That being said, the dressing-table this time around does not have the filler roll twice/thrice and generally has quite an array of glorious entries that will especially help novices to the genre of horror make the stay at a haunted house memorable.

Now the haunted house denizens suggested as adversaries are more or less what you'd expect - ye olde' assortment of undead and the same holds true for the 3 haunts - dancing decor, arcane locking doors and the suggested hazards are rather conservative.

The 3 adventure hooks included are solid.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, but not as flawless as I've come to expect from Raging Swan Press. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks as well as fully bookmarked. Additionally, you receive two versions, one optimized for screen-use, one optimized for the printer.

Alexander Augunas' alternate dungeon-suggestions for haunted houses are solid especially for novice DMs looking for inspiration regarding haunted houses. Now if you're a veteran Ravenloft/CoC/etc.-DM, then this one probably won't blow you away - the helpful considerations were okay, yes, but e.g. escape prevention (a default trope in haunted houses!) is glossed over, as is the general location of the house. Harvesting suggestions for dressings feel weird in the context of the haunted house and the supplemental reskins/hazards are old tricks for veterans. Whether this pdf is for you very much depends on your experience with horror modules in old mansions - if you're a veteran, don't expect to find much new herein - unlike the installment on mystic groves, the mansions uniqueness is derived more from story and individual dressing and this pdf, by nature of its scope, is hard-pressed in providing enough on that front. If, on the other hand, you are a novice DM or simply have no experience with these types of set-ups, then this will make for a good step-by-step guideline for you, collecting some of the classic tricks and considerations. My final verdict will hence clock in at a final verdict between "good and useful for novices" and "nothing for veterans" of 3 stars - quintessentially, a solid pdf.

Endzeitgeist out.


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Contributor

Hooray! Thanks Liz. :-)

This was a really fun Alternate Dungeons product to write. I felt like it practically wrote itself.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

And don't forget everyone, you can grab a free sample of this rather marvellous supplement here. I hope it enhances your game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

these are a rather cool idea

Contributor

thenovalord wrote:
these are a rather cool idea

Thanks! This RSP product line is sort of like my baby, so its nice to hear that people are enjoying them. :-)


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, oNn OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks for the review, Endzeitgeist. It's much appreciated as always, and I'm sorry we didn't hit it out of the park this time.


You can't win 'em all. ;) Then again, Sewers is coming up and that one fared better. Also: Starspun hollow's done on ym site, will be posted here tomorrow.

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